2012 Winner - Derek Littlejohn

Open letter from Derek Littlejohn

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My name is Derek Littlejohn and I was born in McMinnville, Oregon on October 30, 1991 to Michael and Michelle Littlejohn.  I am the youngest of three, having an older brother and half sister. When I was born we lived in a small town named Sheridan where I went to school through my freshman year. We moved to neighboring Willamina which is the High School from which I graduated.  

I grew up in a sport-oriented family, playing soccer, football, basketball, baseball and wrestling as a child. In school I played football, basketball and baseball. I played on the OSAA’s Baseball 3A State Championship team my junior year.

In high school I was an officer in the local FFA Chapter and President of the National Honors Society. I volunteered for various youth activities such as umpire, referee and camp counselor for the school and youth organizations in my community. I volunteer for Special Olympics and as a chaperone for a non-profit which organizes vacations for special needs adults. Besides school and sports I worked on our family farm bucking hay, mowing fields and spraying weeds, I worked for other farms bucking hay also. I still hold a part -time position as a sales associate at American Eagle Outfitters, which I started my high school sophomore year.  

For the past 2 years I have been a physics student at Linfield College.  I am a member of Theta Chi serving the past year as recruitment chair. I have now transferred to Oregon State University majoring in Forestry Engineering for the next 3 years. When I graduate I plan to carry on a family tradition managing and operating my family’s sustainable Timber Farm nestled in Oregon’s Coast Range.